Kathleen Robertson, The Business
So what's it really like trying to produce an indie film on a shoestring budget, with underqualified/overinflated ego-wielding actors, frustrated writer-directors and a crazy, Japanese-spouting investor? The Business
, premiering Friday, Aug. 4, at 11:30 pm/ET, picked up where IFC's The Festival
left off, as writer-director Rufus Marquez (Nicholas Wright
) struggles to get his low-budget thriller made by wannabe-legit smut-peddler Vic Morgenstein (Rob DeLeeuw
). Hopefully saving everyone's bacon in this mess is Kathleen Robertson
's Julia Sullivan, who quits her job at (wink-wink) IFC to give Vic a desperately needed assist. TVGuide.com got a hold of the 90210
alum and indie vet to mind her Business
and get the scoop on her upcoming "date" with Superman
TVGuide.com: Do you feel like your own indie cred helped you get into this role?
Kathleen Robertson: I've definitely done a lot of independent films, so I had a lot of experience to draw on. Every job you do is always so different, but....
TVGuide.com: Watching this I imagined you had to be a nodding insider at the budget crunching, the flaky personalities....
Robertson: Yeah! [On The Business] we have to deal with foreign financiers who want to show boobs and specific amounts of severed limbs.... It's just hilarious.
TVGuide.com: I was watching the screeners on the bus, and when they abruptly insert a clip from one of Vic's Girls Gone Wild-esque "Drunk Chicks 6" videos....
Robertson: You're like, "I better cover this up." [Laughs] I actually didn't know they were going to do that. I thought it was funny when I saw the first episode.
TVGuide.com: The clips remind you where Vic's come from....
Robertson: And what we're all fighting against.
TVGuide.com: Tell me about your cast mates, starting with Rob DeLeeuw, who plays Vic.
Robertson: Rob's actually incredibly sort of, like, sensitive and not at all like Vic. He's soft-spoken and like a big teddy bear.
TVGuide.com: And you have a lot of scenes with Nicholas Wright.
Robertson: He's great, great, great. He takes what he does really seriously and has pages and pages of backstory and notes [about his character]. It was a great learning experience for me because I'm not used to working on things where you're allowed to improvise as much. This was basically, "OK, this is what the scene is, we'll shoot one take," and the bulk of what ends up in the show wasn't in the script.
TVGuide.com: There must have been a lot of improv with the guy who plays Kenji, the eccentric investor, and Tony, the Bluetooth-headset-wearing cad.
Robertson: Absolutely, especially with Trevor Hayes (Tony). It was literally that every time I had a scene with him, I knew I was in trouble. I could not even look him in the eye, he's so funny. When you see people going, "Oh, I can't work with this person, he makes me laugh," I always thought, "Give me a break." But I became that person with Trevor. My hair was in a ponytail and I'd have to take it out and wear it down just so I could hide my face when I'm about to crack.
TVGuide.com: Will Julia ever take up Tony on his incessant offers to go out for a drink?
Robertson: You'll have to wait and see! [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: How was it being pretty much the only girl among all these guys?
Robertson: It was fun. They all had been cast [early on], and I didn't come on until the end. I almost wasn't able to do the show and they had to rework the schedule to make it happen. So when I arrived they had already been shooting for a long time, and they had no idea who was going to come in and play this role. But they were all like, "Thank god you're nice!"
TVGuide.com: Did the unfortunate fate of David E. Kelley's Girls Club [a short-lived 2002 legal drama] sour you against network TV at all?
Robertson: No.... It's funny, people always ask me about that specific experience, and as an actor I have no control over any of that stuff. I go in and do my job, and if something is successful, great. If it's not, I can't let it affect me. Like with [The Business], I don't have any expectations. I don't know if people will think it's funny or weird. I don't care. I'm an actor, and this is what I love to do. I can't think about the business side of it. I disassociate myself from all that because it's beyond my control.
TVGuide.com: I was trying to think back 10-plus years.... Your Beverly Hills, 90210 character, Clare Arnold — was she one that fans loved, loved to hate, or just hated?
Robertson: Oh, no, I don't think the latter! I hope not, anyway!
TVGuide.com: What was she, Brandon's girlfriend?
Robertson: I think, like on all those kinds of shows, I pretty much dated everyone. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Good for you!
Robertson: I think I was, actually, at some point dating each character!
TVGuide.com: I see you got a Canadian Comedy Awards nomination in the "Pretty Funny Female Performance" category, for Scary Movie 2. Who on earth did you lose to?
Robertson: Good question — I didn't go, so I don't know! Wow, I had forgotten about that.
TVGuide.com: What do you have in the works?
Robertson: I have a movie coming out in September called Hollywoodland.
TVGuide.com: That's the movie about the death of George Reeves (TV's Superman).
Robertson: Yes. It used to be called Truth, Justice and the American Way. It's with Adrien Brody and Ben Affleck [as Reeves]....
TVGuide.com: Your character, Carol Van Ronkel, was a real person? Where did she fit into things?
Robertson: She was a neighbor of George Reeves, and she was questioned about his death because she was one of the three people in the house with him the night he died. She was rumored to know what really went on, but was always very tight-lipped. It seems pretty clear to me, with the research I did, that he didn't kill himself, but was murdered.
TVGuide.com: Before we go, if anyone out there wants to immerse themselves in some Kathleen Robertson goodness, what DVDs should they look out for?
Robertson: Hmm... I would say either XX/XY, [a dark relationship drama] with Mark Ruffalo — I love that film a lot — or Torso [a TV-movie about the 1940s trial of accused murderess Evelyn Dick], which is a true story. Those are my two picks.
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